Whether you're emailing employers, colleagues, or your professors, your email may be saying a lot about you, even if you don't realize it! When you write to people outside your group of friends and family, it's important that every email sends the message that you are a knowledgeable and competent professional.
Here are six things you can do to make your emails look and sound professional.
Use Subject Lines
Always use a subject line so that the person who receives your email knows what the email is about before they open it. If the reader wishes to revisit the email a few days later, they'll be able to quickly identify the email in their inbox using the subject line.
Choose Your Email Address Wisely
Your email address may be the first thing the receiver notices, so you want it to give a good impression! It's typically good practice for an email address to include your name or initials—this will help people who know you to recognize that you are the one sending the email. If you have a clever or hilarious email address that you can't stand to part with, that's perfectly fine, but save it for your personal emails with family and friends!
Include an Email Signature
Most email clients allow you to set up a signature that will always be included at the end of your emails. At the very least, you should include your full name and email address in this signature. It may also be a good idea to include your phone number and a link to your LinkedIn profile if you have one.
Use Proper Grammar
After you are done composing your email, run a spell check and grammar check, and then manually review your email one more time. (No spell check or grammar check is ever 100 percent accurate.) Remember, once you hit send, you can't hit undo!
Get to the Point
Don’t fill your email with fluff. Instead, be concise (but polite) in your statement or request. Just like you, most professionals have a busy schedule and don't have time to read through long paragraphs to get to your point. In fact, people often skim emails, and, if your request or question is buried within a lot of text, they might miss it entirely!
Know the Difference Between Emails and Spoken Conversations
When you write an email, remember that the reader cannot see your expressions and body language or hear the tone of your voice. If you intend to be sarcastic or funny in an email, it could lead to a huge misunderstanding. If the topic is something serious or perhaps complicated, consider having a phone call or scheduling a time to meet instead; for some things, it's simply better to talk in person.